Online Postmortem (Originally Posted 3/26/2012)

NOTE: This was on an old Blogger site when I was still in school, but it is a good read, so I am posting it here as well. enjoy.

I had a class called the “game development team,” in which classmates got together and made a game, or environment as a group. The group I participated in decided to make a HD re-imaging of Kokiri Village.  I am proud of the end result, which I will post soon in the games gallery.


WHAT WENT RIGHT

Teamwork. After working in a few teams before, I was skeptical when entering this class. DJ and I jumped at the chance of working with each other, and we added in a modeler, Jimmy. The work ethic was there and the communication could’ve been better, but a lot better than previous attempts. during the final 2 weeks we set up a meet-up to marathon-develop and we were very productive.

Level Design. Week 2, Jimmy gave me a block out and I immedeately began work on the BSP version. because the reference model was used for height purposes, the models afterward were basically drag and drop after they were completed.

Faeries in the night. I decided to make the level a night setting, since Kokiri has fairies. i envisioned link looking into the sky and seeing fairies flying in the night. the particle effect worked great and added a mood to the level.

Dropbox. Week 1, I set up a dropbox for the team. they would send me the models, NPC’s and Various code that made them work. because most of them were small files, the transfer was fast. and DJ and I could work on the project quickly. even with absences, I was able to keep working via dropbax and show continuous improvements.

“Things will all fall into place.” This is the most frustrating, yet satisfying part of the process. UDK has the ability to know automatically what type of “game” is on the map that is cooked. after DJ found the code error, the game transition simply fell into place. No crashes whatsoever.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Last minute additions. Tools like RAD Game Tools and Scaleform were treated as an afterthought rather than part of the main game. the interface could have been better and fully funtional had we planned on that in the beginning of the process. Also RAD did not work at all, since the video was created on the final day of the project

Custom animation gone wrong. we did not realize that if a tree isnt finished, the game wont recognize the animation. So, the jump did not work at all. also, since some of the animations were different length of frames, the blending did not work. in the middle of the run, the legs went back into idle for a second until the other animation caught up.

Exorcist effect. for some reason, when the animations were imported into the game, the heads and arms were backwards. We had to make the bones backwards to make UDK make the animation right.

Overall, I had fun making this project, and if all goes well 2 of 3 of the members will work on an original project once the classes are over.